Calendar Method


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Birth Control - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Calendar Method of Birth Control?

The Calendar method is one of the most widely practiced approaches to contraception, as well as one of the oldest known in history. It can also be referred to as: the rhythm method, standard day's method or Knaus-Ogino Method, Because of its technique, it is a safe and natural way to exercise birth control. However, it is not without risks, as the method has not proven to be 100% effective.

How Does the Calendar Method Work?

We now know that ovulation takes place approximately fourteen days before your following menstrual period. However, when this discovery took place in the 1920s, it made it possible for women and couples to calculate the prime times to have intercourse in order to get pregnant or to avoid getting pregnant.

In order for the Calendar method to work, you have to assume three things:

  • First, that ovulation will occur fourteen days before the first day of a menstrual cycle - it is also important to note that there is a margin of error of 2 days
  • Second, that the sperm can survive for three days
  • Third, that the egg lives for 24 hours

If a female has regular menstrual cycles, it is advised to count backwards from the first day of her period to figure out the ovulation day. Then, she will able to determine when she will be ovulating the following month. Depending on whether she wants to get pregnant or not, she can decide to have intercourse during these ovulation days or avoid intercourse during those days if she does not wish to get pregnant.

It is always recommended that before anyone or any couple decides to use an approach such as this, to seek the advice of a doctor or counselor at a clinic. Trained medical personnel can best determine if this method is best for their patients, and whether or not it can be a good option.

Is the Calendar Method Effective?

The average woman does not have a regular menstrual cycle, and it can be difficult to determine what exact day you will start your period. A female's menstrual cycle can vary from month to month, and the changes are based on everything from diet to stress. Keeping this in mind, if menstruation is irregular, then ovulation is irregular. Because of this, the Calendar method is not considered to be an effective one.

If you are one of the rare people that start a menstrual cycle every four weeks like clockwork, then this method can perhaps be effective. Of course, you have to be extremely meticulous about keeping count of the days, thus giving the name "Calendar method" its meaning.

The Calendar method has very high failure rates, even when practiced with extreme care. It is incredibly difficult to accurately determine when a female's menstrual cycle will and won't begin, even if she is always regular. When compared to other methods of birth control, the efficiency of the Calendar method is seriously brought into question. The annual failure rate for couples that are dating is 29% and for married couples it is 20%. Cohabitating couples average an enormous 38% failure rate.

Is the Calendar Method Safe?

As stated above, this particular contraceptive method is safe and natural. It does not have any side-effects or health risks. Unfortunately, because the method involves unprotected sex, the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is ever-present. The Calendar method can only be used to prevent a pregnancy.

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